The news today that an Ibrox fan supporter bus has been filmed singing a racist song about Celtic’s Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi was not in the least bit surprising except that in that it went viral and then broke in the national press.
But let’s be honest, you could film the Peepul on Ibrox supporter’s buses engaging in loathsome, degenerate behaviour every other week.
This one has made headlines because the hatred there has taken a new form and picked a new target. Songs about being up the knees in fenian blood no longer shock like they should.
This one has novelty value. It’s their latest sick chant, the latest in a long line of them, and the truth is that you become inured to this stuff until the next despicable evolution.
The statement from the club came after the media started to report it.
To the credit of the club – and I say this with all seriousness – they have vowed to identify all those responsible.
That should not be terribly difficult.
If only they took every such instance as seriously.
But the simple truth is that they had no choice here at all, the minute that video went national via the papers and the broadcasters. The whole of Britain was watching, appalled, and so there was no way they could maintain their usual silence and pretend it wasn’t happening.
For a club with a “small minority” of nutters, they sure do make a lot of these type of headlines and although this was a very public example of their bile you can find many, many, many more of them indulging in this stuff if you check their forums, which tonight are buzzing with this story with much of the consensus being that those filming it are to blame for the scrutiny.
Note that it’s those making the video who are being blamed, not those singing the damn songs. We’ve seen instances of this before. They simply refuse to accept that some things are just plain wrong.
It’s the same with their players having to practically beg the fans not to boo the taking of the knee; when your club has to do that there are issues needing addressed.
Those issues have needed addressed for years.
There is an element over there that will not change, that will not reform, that will not join the civilised world, an element which unfortunately for the club is built in with the bricks now and almost impossible to remove.
Their club is forever locked in a sick balancing act with these people. They recognise the need to condemn or face the public relations backlash for failing to do so, but it never goes as far as it should because to go too far risks alienating a significant section of the customer base.
That’s why their official statement tonight carries all the standard guff about these scumbags not being representative of the support as a whole.
The trouble is, this lets a lot of people off the hook because those clowns are more representative of their fan-base that the club cares to admit.
Their stands need a deep clean.
Their support needs to properly face up to its issues.
That club, if it has any sense of self preservation, would be dragging their fans kicking and screaming into this century with the rest of us, and foregoing those who won’t come.
They need to grow their brand, and whilst their fans routinely indulge in this kind of bigotry and bile that is never going to happen.
The club knows this, but somewhere at Ibrox they’ve already made the only calculation that matters; they will make statements every now and again but the issue must not be faced head-on. The occasional disgusting flare up is a price they are willing to pay.
It’s factored in. it’s been accounted for.
And perhaps that’s the way they want it, but the rest of society is pig sick of these folk, and pig sick of sharing a country with them.